Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006: Year in review (Or should I say 'My Head Was in the Clouds for 365 Freaking Days'?)

Tomorrow, 2006 is gone. Quite honestly, given the mess that took place in 2005 — not exclusively the 26 hurricanes, but the trouble I got in with PKMN.NET and the close realisation that it was silly to stay with such disagreeable people) — I thought this year would be better. Alas, it resulted in my deconstruction and forced me to look over the year with the hopes that all will be brighter when the little hand points to the twelve.

In the beginning of the year, we had the pleasure of watching Saddam storm out of the room (God rest his soul now). I, however, publish a sceptical review of the karma system adopted by PKMN.NET (and it's survived to this day). I also lose the last of my respect for when someone by the name of Ama but who masquerades as Encyclopika publishes a piece called Treehouse Saga, resulting in a scathing attack by this blog, which had seen darker days. Of course, four months later, the installation of a tracker (the little globe thing on the left) revealed that the author had published a retaliatory statement on her own blog. Thus led to a series of arguments between the two of us that made me decide that the site wasn't worth bothering with, except to sometimes laugh off the fact that it boasts that it's the best and latest while there remains a rocky and rough side to it. This is for you, Ama: I'm still prepared to have a go whenever I see something fishy.

Next, while PKMN.NET fades out of focus on my radar, the Pokémon Community zooms into clear view. After noticing the clash (which is no longer as perceptible) between the mods and old-time members over seniority that culminated in a defamatory Wikipedia article, I speak up, and two weeks later I'm a moderator. Of course, I have to try a second time before it really goes away, but in its place comes another splinter site or equivalent thereof, Shinou.

Finally, we had two youth summits, one hosted by the Elks Association and another by Youth2Youth International. The former gets me an admirer, while the latter gives me an opportunity to explain away the smoking problems at the arcade.

What's it all for now?

That's a good question.

I recount my mother telling me that I've had my head up too much, looking down on others. I have to say that she was right; the fact that I'd subconsciously resorted to all this in the lack of maturity probably made this year hell. I'll be honest here: You'll be happy to hear me admit that everything that incurred hatred from others, especially in school and on the forums, was my own doing some way or other.

The evidence of life going that way in school can be found on the tongues of those in my technology class. Our project required us to create a video yearbook to accompany the printed and bound one we were organising, but this yearbook would go solely to the seniors. Although I had been assigned to shot watch and editing, I, dwelling on how foolish I had made myself during the previous years, didn't do as the rubric told. Rather, I tapped away at the Macintosh computers without a single thought to the others, finally doing little more than stand guard during filming, but not before yelling at a student who had given me the role in reparation for lack of activity in shot watch. The teacher ended up marking me on par with the rest, but given the fact that I had done absolutely nothing to contribute to the film aside from a single hint at the cover art, I felt I didn't deserve a single point. If I'd foreseen this, I'd have asked to move to Mr Leitz's Java class, which I would have found of significantly more use. Even before that, I was under the delusion that I was, out of the blue, hated, but after a mediation session that knocked the reason for such hatred into my head, followed by a bungled session with another student and my sudden upsurge in work ethic in my uncle's class, I began to veer to the opposite end of the spectrum, turning from a person who demanded attention to one who had no answer to give and wanted nothing to do with the rest of the students. This went so far as a request to have my name extracted from the yearbook — at my parents' urging my picture would remain — on, as it turned out, the sole basis that I would have been labelled 'rudest'.

On the forums, my life started going up, but then it took a devastating downturn in the last few months. The restriction on teams on SuperCheats was gone on protest, I was falling out with even more people than before, and, it seems, I've lost almost all credibility as a moderator. The last few weeks were shaped by the failure of a rule that Scizz and I had fabricated to remedy tangent habits by a single member, after which I just sent Erica to announce the removal of the rule to hide my shame. Then fallouts with Kura and the Blue and Natsuki pair reveal more ignorance on my part that I hadn't squashed before. The truth in all cases here was that I was on the staff under the delusion that the forums couldn't survive without me, and in many cases I got everything horribly wrong. One time I would blame Super Cheats for not having a cohesive staff while the depression would really be rooted in my lack of professionalism as a Pokémon Community moderator. On another occasion I may have said that PC was supportive of me while Super Cheats put me down, while I in reality had flaws in both areas.

The truth is, I'm more or less a fraud. I probably shouldn't have Brigantine's school system (which I was in until 2003) shoulder the blame for it, as I had liberal psychological help while the students would be tricked into thinking I was the greatest. As I may or may not have mentioned before, I had people walking up to me asking 'Who was the sixth president?' or 'What's the square root of 7895778?' and waiting in the hopes of either a prompt answer or, more to the comedian tune, a sputter of failure to conjure an answer. This carried over into high school and PKMN.NET, where fights with the staff would lead to TPL. Soon enough, I find myself on the staff of a prominent Pokémon forum when, as was more or less demonstrated by my failure in TPL, I probably didn't have the competence. Moreover, the board I was assigned to had so few instances of infraction out of which so few occurred whilst I was online that other staff would race to it and resolve it. Not even an internal restriction of superior moderation of that board helped; I just looked for technical issues while other things could have gone on. The same, interestingly, may hold true for my supermarket job, although many have said that it was for the best; I'll have to analyse that later.

As a result, I went around asking for resolution ideas. All I wanted was someone in my age group who I could call on in real life and who could relate to me and point out what I was doing wrong. All I had was a group of girls with whom I would sit at lunch and laugh gaily for thirty minutes, and I was innately afraid of bringing anything up with them. It's no matter, though; I probably will not see them again until 29 January, when internships end. As for the seniors, I may have just seen the last of them; they're going to remote locales for internships and either going to the ACCC campus for the rest of the semester or working at those locales. If not for the decision to take online courses, I'd have opted just to stay off campus and work full-time at the supermarket. I suppose it's too late now, unless I reimburse the school for $300 for failure by default.

Then again, I hope to attend a college far away from home, so I can start anew without any of these problems chewing my back. The next step will be applying, and by now they've all gone into rolling basis mode. I'm screwed.

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